My Pet Peeves As A Writer

Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully
Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully

by Catherine L. Tully

Everyone has them, but they aren’t all the same.

Pet peeves are those little quirks that drive you up the wall as a writer. Not the typical fare–such as getting paid late or having a client that changes their mind all the time. I consider those normal.

It’s the other stuff I’m talking about here…

And I’m going to list a few of mine for you. Yep. Right here in the open. And I hope when you finish reading, you’ll share one or two of your own…

Here we go:

Pet peeve #1: No response after sending an invoice.

I love editors that shoot back a “thanks” or a “got it” when I send an invoice out. Otherwise I keep wondering if they did indeed receive it. Now I know it’s a quirk, but what can I say–I’m paranoid. And I like to get paid.

Pet peeve #2: The rush job panic.

I get that sometimes a writing project may need to be a “rush job”. What I don’t like is when the client still wants to get a deal in terms of price, or when they keep checking in to see the progress. If you want it more quickly, you should be prepared to pay a little extra. And if you keep e-mailing me or calling me, it’s less time I can spend getting the project done.

Pet peeve #3: Adding extras along the way.

I don’t mind scouting out photos for a piece, preparing a snappy sidebar to go along with an article or even sending in material for fact-checkers. What is hard is when those things are added at the last minute–and with a tight turnaround time. I’m happy to go the extra mile as long as I’m not expected to perform miracles.

Pet peeve #4: Silence.

It freaks me out when I have to get ahold of an editor and they don’t respond. If I have a question, I e-mail and ask it. When I don’t hear back, I hate having to follow up again and ask. I feel like a pest. I feel like I”m annoying the editor. I hate feeling like that! It’s even worse if I have to do it more than once…

So those are a few of mine–what are yours?

3 thoughts on “My Pet Peeves As A Writer”

  1. I’m pretty sure we’ve had the same experiences with writing, because my list of pet peeves would look almost exactly like yours.

    The ‘adding extras’ one would change a bit. I don’t mind having them added, but they need to realize there’s a price that comes along with extras. You don’t order a Big Mac at McDonald’s and expect to get the fries for free when they put it on your tray!

  2. These are so true! Along the lines of #2, I have a hard time when clients have a “rush job” that is due on a certain date, but then keep adding things so that it’s clear the date is fictional. The stress of trying to meet their deadline but then continuing to work long past the deadline for extras is confusing, from way out here in freelance world.

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